Techmeme
February 21, 2014, 11:05 PM

Top News

TechCrunch:
TestFlight Owner Burstly Acquired By Apple  —  Burstly, the makers of an in-app ad management platform called SkyRocket and the parent company of popular mobile app testing platform TestFlight, has been acquired, we're hearing.  Though we're working to get more information on this now …
Paul Graham / Y Combinator Posthaven:
Sam Altman for President  —  I'm delighted to announce that Sam Altman has agreed to become president of Y Combinator starting next batch.  I'll continue to do office hours with startups, but Sam is going to lead YC.  —  Why the change?  Because YC needs to grow, and I'm not the best person to grow it.
Colleen Taylor / TechCrunch:
Sam Altman Taking Over As President Of Y Combinator, Replacing Paul Graham At The Helm  —  After nine years at the helm of Y Combinator, Paul Graham is stepping away from his leadership role at the famed Silicon Valley startup incubator.  Taking over as Y Combinator's president is Sam Altman …
Tweets: @loyalelectron
Alexia Tsotsis / TechCrunch:
WhatsApp Was Valued At ~$1.5B In Final Round Before Sale  —  WhatsApp did a great job of being surreptitious about its funding while growing into a messaging monster.  But as they say, the truth always comes out.  —  In this case, the truth is that the company had three rounds of financing, with Sequoia as the sole investor.
Bloomberg:
To counter competition, Microsoft will charge manufacturers $15 instead of $50 to install Windows on devices under $250  —  Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals  —  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers …
Peter Kafka / Re/code:
Sources say Amazon readying an Android-based Web TV box competing with Apple TV and Roku, for March rollout  —  Amazon Gets Its TV Box Ready, Again  —  Amazon is gearing up to take on Apple and Roku, again.  —  Industry sources say Amazon is getting ready to launch a Web TV box …
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Netflix packets being dropped every day because Verizon wants more money  —  Verizon wants to be paid by consumers and Cogent, but Cogent refuses to pay.  —  The battle over who should pay to carry Netflix traffic is heating up again, and one of the main players blames Verizon's greed …
Bloomberg:
Roku Said to Be Weighing Initial Public Offering in U.S. in 2014  —  Roku Inc., the maker of set-top boxes that connect TVs to the Internet, is weighing an initial public offering in the U.S. this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.  —  A decision to move ahead hasn't been made …
Lee Hutchinson / Ars Technica:
Harvard supercomputing cluster misused to mine Dogecoins, perpetrator banned from using computer facilities  —  Harvard supercomputing cluster hijacked to produce dumb cryptocurrency  —  Love of money can cause people to do unwise things—like stealing time on your university's resident supercomputer to mine crypto-coins.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
LinkedIn Finally Lets You Block Other Members  —  LinkedIn has at last added a long-requested feature with the introduction of member blocking.  This adds a new privacy control to the service, which lets you restrict access to your profile, direct interactions, and network activity …
Brad Linder / Liliputing:
Geeksphone Revolution Android/Firefox phone launches for $300  —  Spanish phone maker Geeksphone is now taking orders for the Geeksphone Revolution, a phone designed to run either Google Android or the open source version of Firefox OS, also called Boot to Gecko.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook Tests Mobile “Highlights”, A Cheat Sheet To Your Friends' Lives  —  Facebook said there were just big fixes in its 7.0 iOS update it released yesterday, but actually there's a big new feature it's testing called Highlights.  Inside the People tab you'll see Highlights including friends' Life Events …
Chris Williams / The Register:
Apple releases iOS 7.0.6 and 6.1.6 updates with SSL/TLS security fix  —  Update your iThings: Apple splats scary SSL snooping bug in iOS  —  Encrypted connections vulnerable to tampering, putting millions at risk  —  Apple has issued updates for its mobile operating system iOS to patch …
Bloomberg:
Verizon completes $130B buyout of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless  —  Verizon Sale Cuts Vodafone Value by Half to $100 Billion  —  Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) completes the biggest sale of the past decade today, leaving the wireless carrier about half the size it was …
Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom:
Sprint launches Wi-Fi calling, turning the Galaxy Mega, S4 Mini into IP phones  —  In the next few weeks, Sprint customers with a Samsung Galaxy Mega or a Galaxy S4 Mini will get an over-the-air software update that will turn their devices into IP phones - at least when they're connected to Wi-Fi networks.
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Airbnb hosts must install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by end of 2014  —  Hosts can request free detectors, first-aid kits, and safety information cards  —  As Airbnb's housing rental service continues to grow in popularity, the company wants to ensure that all guests have a safe stay.
Laura Northrup / Consumerist:
Fitbit Voluntarily Recalls Rash-Inducing Force Wristbands  —  Since the first reports of contact dermatitis caused by Fitbit Force movement trackers surfaced on the company's forums (and gained publicity when Consumerist broke the story last month) customers have asked that the company recall the trackers.
Richard Lai / Engadget:
Opera's Sponsored Web Pass gives you free mobile internet if you watch an ad  —  Did you know that people like free stuff?  Opera knows, which is why it's now launching an ad-supported version of its Web Pass platform.  Mobile operators can now easily take advantage of this tool …
Ashlee Vance / Businessweek:
Willow Garage, rare privately funded Silicon Valley robotics research lab, shuts down  —  Willow Garage's Last Days  —  In 2006, Scott Hassan, a prolific software engineer, started a research lab dedicated to robotics called Willow Garage.  Since then, he's funded the lab with about $20 million …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
The quest for a quantum future  —  Decoding the secret language of the universe at Station Q, Microsoft's center for quantum computing research.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
VMware:
Your Grandfather's Backup Tools Weren't Built for Today's Virtual Environments.  —  When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run …
Zoho:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
Pure Storage:
2014: Pure, EMC, HP, and Violin all Up Their Games  —  The past few months have seen bold announcements from EMC, HP, Violin, and of course Pure Storage, the net result of which is that the market has changed and moved forward appreciably.
 

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